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How To Bathe A Golden Retriever Correctly And How Often: Full Guide

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If you wash your hair every day, how often do you do it? It is likely that you wash it twice or thrice a week. Since your hair is exposed to dirt and other elements, it is important to keep it clean and healthy.

It’s no secret that your beloved Golden Retriever has a lot more hair than you do and is constantly exposed to grass, dirt, and other surfaces. Obviously, your Golden Retriever needs a bath to look its best.

Shallow focus photography of a golden retriever

Dogs, however, have a different bathing schedule from humans. This post will explain how often and how to bathe a Golden Retriever.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Golden Retriever?

The frequency of Golden Retriever baths depends on a variety of environmental factors, such as parasite problems in the area, urban vs. rural environments, and the amount of time your dog spends outside.

Lifestyle And Environmental Factors To Consider

You will need to bathe your Golden Retriever more often if you regularly take it swimming. Frequent swimming results in an unpleasant smell and a dirty coat.

Golden Retrievers will pick up less debris and dirt if they spend most of their time indoors. It won’t need to be bathed more often, so you won’t have to.

When you regularly take your pooch out for exercise, and it gets dirty from playing in the dirt or grass, you will need to clean it more frequently.

If you live in an area with a parasite problem, you need to stay on high alert. You may have to give your Golden Retriever more frequent baths. Ask your vet if there is anything else you can do to keep your dog free from parasites.

Don’t Wash Your Golden Retriever Too Often

Washing your Golden Retriever too often might remove its essential natural oils. Your Golden Retriever will look unattractive if it loses the protective coating.

In addition, bathing too regularly can leave your pooch’s skin unprotected, resulting in infections and dandruff. Even a mild shampoo can have a negative impact on your dog’s skin if overused.

On the other hand, not bathing enough will result in obvious problems. Golden Retrievers don’t emit strong odors, but they can develop a bit of an odor if they don’t get washed for too long.

Bathing Schedule

Ideally, you should bathe your Golden Retriever every six weeks. You may have to wash it every month, depending on the specific circumstances – as discussed above.

As you maintain proper grooming, such as brushing between baths, you will become familiar with the skin condition and hair of your dog, which will allow you to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Unscheduled Baths

Whenever an unexpected event occurs, you should bathe your pooch as soon as you can. If your Golden Retriever goes into a mud puddle while exercising, you should give it a bath before the mud gets stuck to its coat and becomes more difficult to remove.

The mud may get stuck in your dog’s coat. Therefore, your pooch could require a haircut. So, it is important to address the issue before it ruins your Golden Retriever’s beautiful coat.

If your Golden Retriever rolls around on a dead animal, you need to give him a bath, so he doesn’t pick up parasites. In the case of parasites, your pooch may come into contact with another dog who is infected.

Whenever that occurs, you should give your Golden Retriever a bath as soon as possible to avoid parasites establishing themselves on your pooch.

Prep Work

Prep work includes trimming the nails, cleaning the ears, maintaining proper dental hygiene, and trimming the pads. Keep your pooch healthy and beautiful. Preparation should be done before every grooming and bathing session.

It is extremely important to take proper care of your nails. Unsightly nails can cause health problems, such as sore toes and joint pain. In addition, they can cause scratches on your legs and carpets.

Cut your dog’s nails with a high-quality dog nail trimmer. Maintaining your Golden Retriever’s dental hygiene is also important. Consult a vet to determine if you are maintaining proper dental hygiene and grooming your dog.

Where To Wash Your Golden Retriever

Owners of small breeds of dogs have an advantage over you – they can put their pooch in a laundry tub or sink. Since Golden Retrievers aren’t small, you can’t just put them in the sink.

As a substitute, you’ll have to use a detachable nozzle to clean your dog in the shower.

Portable dog tubs are another option. There are heavy tubs and collapsible tubs so you can easily take them outside. Towels and dog tubs can also be rented at pet supply and grooming stores.

Some people use a garden hose to clean their dogs. Even if your pooch is really filthy, you can occasionally use the same procedure to clean him. Make sure not to do this too often, as dogs don’t like having a powerful hose shot right at them.

How To Bathe Your Golden Retriever

Golden retriever getting a bath

Here is what you should do once you are ready to bathe your Golden Retriever:

Brush Your Golden Retriever

Make sure your Golden Retriever is brushed before bathing. It is possible for matted hair to hold water, causing irritation on your dog’s skin.

Ask a professional groomer how to brush your Golden Retriever if you don’t know. Keep water out of your pooch’s ears and prevent irritation and ear infections by putting cotton balls in his ears.

Use Lukewarm Water

Golden Retrievers have very different skin than humans. They can easily be burned by hot water, causing them pain. Bathwater shouldn’t be hotter than what you would use for a baby.

If you aren’t sure about how hot the water should be, take advice from a vet or groomer.

Talk To Your Golden Retriever In A Calm Voice

Eventually, your Golden Retriever will learn that you are not torturing him. Whenever you are bathing your dog for the first time, speak calmly and reassuringly to ensure that it does not overreact to the water.

Use a Dog Shampoo

Clean your dog with a high-quality dog shampoo. Wash your pooch with shampoo and massage it all over its body. Avoid getting soap in its eyes.

Rinse Well

It can cause irritation if soap is left on the Golden Retriever’s skin. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.


The hot air that comes from a conventional human blow-dryer is too hot for your dog’s skin. To dry your dog, you can either use a specially designed blow-dryer or air-dry.

Reward Your Golden Retriever

Be sure to follow up with praise, play, or petting. Dogs that have been bathed like to vent their frustration by playing tug-of-war with a towel.

When To Hire Professionals

Consider taking your pet to a professional groomer if you don’t like washing your dog in the bathtub or if your dog can’t tolerate being lathered. In addition to bathing and clipping its nails, they will also dry it off. Most are reasonably priced.

Final Thoughts

You should bathe your Golden Retriever every few weeks if you want to keep it healthy. Generally, you don’t want to bathe your dog too often because they would lose their natural oils, resulting in a dull coat.

Once every six weeks would be good enough. Under special circumstances – such as the ones we mentioned – you might be able to break this schedule.

Bathe your Golden Retriever according to our instructions. Brush your dog before the bath to remove knots or matting. Otherwise, they will get wet and become more difficult to remove.

Make sure your dog doesn’t get burned by lukewarm water, and talk to it while giving it a bath. Reward your Golden Retriever for being a good boy by petting, playing or praising him at the end of the session.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.